Paper Money

ECCB using polymer in its new bank note series

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank is issuing its first polymer notes, with the $50 denomination to be the first to be issued, sometime in May or June. The notes will have vertical designs.

Image courtesy of Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank decided in February 2018 to change the composition of its currency from paper to polymer. A year later, it announced that its Polymer Migration Project will result in the issue of its first such note, a $50 bill this May or June, to be followed by the $100, $20 and $10 bills in August and September of this year and the $5 bill in 2020.

The new series will be printed by De La Rue and will have a vertical orientation, a first for ECCB notes. All denominations except the $50 note will retain their current designs.

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The back of the new $50 note has the image of Sir Kenneth Dwight Vincent Venner, the governor of the bank from December 1989 to November 2015, who passed away in December 2016, and the Brimstone Hill of St. Kitts and Nevis, a 17th century fortress, now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

A youthful representation of Queen Elizabeth II is on the face. 

The bill has a see-through window with fuchsia/pink flowers and a holographic foil strip that the bank says will turn gray or black if anyone tries to counterfeit it.

The bank is asking users not to crease or fold the bank notes, as they may do with paper ones. It says “These creases would become permanent in polymer, and deem the note unfit for circulation. If you happen to do that by mistake or error, you know, you just bend it the other way and it unfolds.”

The ECCB is the central bank for the members of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Its headquarters are in Basseterre, St. Kitts. Its dollar is worth approximately 37 U.S. cents. 

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